Print 98 comment(s) - last by IvanAndreevich.. on Jul 7 at 6:10 PM

How are you gentlemen!! All your free speech are belong to us. You are on the way to destruction... You have no chance to survive make your time.
Guilty verdict furthers copyright protection organizations dreams of banning free speech

The IFPI, RIAA, MPAA, and their international allies have led a crusade against copyright infringement over the last decade, which has seen record million dollar verdicts handed down against citizens for essentially petty theft.  Now, even as they continue their lawsuits, they eagerly await gaining new sets of legislated tools thanks to the lobbyist money they've been pouring into governments worldwide.  

We previously detailed how the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, set to be debated by the U.S. Congress later this year, currently contains a new crime called "imminent infringement", which is essentially copyright thoughtcrime.

Now courts in the Netherlands have added speechcrime to that list, essentially ruling that is illegal to even talk or write about piracy.  The case began last year when Dutch movie studio Eyeworks sued a Usenet community FTD for "making public" their film 
Komt een vrouw bij de dokter (A Woman At The Doctor).

Typically "making public" means you uploaded a file and shared it.  In some cases, the definition has been extended to posting links to infringed material.  However, in this case FTD's users neither posted copyrighted material nor links to it, they merely would "spot" locations of various films on Usenet and post them to the group (sans-links).

In May, in Dutch Federal court in the Hague FTD was handed a defeat.  The court issued an "ex parte injunction" banning the site's users from "spotting" under threat of punishment.

The FTD's lawyer Arnoud Engelfriet filed an objection (appeal) to the court order.  That objection was heard last week and FTD lost yet again when Dutch court essentially ruled a second time that free speech did not cover talking about or writing about piracy.

Speaking with 
TorrentFreak Engelfriet voiced his frustration, stating, "I am flabbergasted by the court’s reasoning.  It is established case law that publishing hyperlinks or torrents (Mininova, Pirate Bay) is *not* the same as a publication. FTD does less than what Mininova or Pirate Bay does, but according to the court we are more liable than they are?"

The Judge supported his decision citing a case in England involving a Usenet service called Newzbin.  Engelfriet describes, "They say that FTD is doing the same thing, and since the English courts held Newzbin liable for infringement, FTD must be liable too.  This completely ignores the technical differences between Newzbin and FTD. Newzbin is an NZB search engine through which you find codes to directly download from Usenet. FTD is a forum where people ’spot’ movies using messages in ordinary Dutch."

The FTD's unsuccessful defense was that it did not control the servers the material was hosted on and hand no control over potential downloaders and thus was not "making available".  The court said this was inconsequential and that guilt would be determined by establishing "whether the behavior of FTD allows users to download copyrighted files (in an easier manner) and thus makes such files available to the public."  And the court found they did.

Tim Kuik, director of Dutch copyright protection group BREIN cheered the decision, stating, "This is a collaboration between FTD and its users where they knowingly provide access to unauthorized files.  It’s clear that this is more than just talking about files like FTD wants people to believe."

Brein is suing the FTD in a second court case.  That case will go to court in October.  Kuik wants to see FTD shut down entirely and taken off the internet.

FTD may soon have a bit of vengeance, though.  Dutch elections are this week, and due to decisions like this one and the Sweden's multi-million dollar verdict against the owners of 
The Pirate Bay, the Pirate Party is picking up steam.  Writes a party spokesperson, "When reaching landmark decisions that overturn years of jurisprudence, neither the judge nor the issue is served when it turns out that the judge in question is in business with the copyright-lawyer from the party benefiting from this shocking verdict. The fact that this joint enterprise mainly offers courses on 'counter-piracy' at €900 per day, makes the situation appear even muddier still. If the Netherlands wants to avoid looking like a banana-republic where the law is for sale to the highest bidder, it is urgent that parliament takes control of the debate on copyright-reform, and brings it back into the public arena where this discussion belongs."

It has been established that the judge serving on 
The Pirate Bay case was a member of copyright organizations and may have financially benefited from the decision.  The Pirate Bay admins are currently appealing the case, hoping for a more unbiased day in court.  Despite the seemingly liberal nature of the Netherlands it has been leading the way in copyright enforcement, banningThe Pirate Bay and other sites entirely.

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Google Suggest illegal?
By Lonyo on 6/9/2010 10:26:25 AM , Rating: 4
If I go to Google and type, for example, Iron Man 2, then Google lists up a search for Iron Man 2 Torrent, with no input from me relating to piracy or downloading it.

Surely Google is enticing me to click the torrent search option from which it will then direct me to websites which allow me to download the torrent (and then the film).

Google is pushing piracy on me and directing me to sources from where I can pirate a film even though I didn't want to know anything about it. It's far worse than this spotting site.

RE: Google Suggest illegal?
By Lonyo on 6/9/2010 10:27:37 AM , Rating: 3
(And I'm not talking about Google as a search engine for torrents, I'm talking about Google suggesting links to copyright infringing sites as part of its normal behaviour when I enter an otherwise innocuous term which has no links to piracy such as just the title of a film or game. Google through its suggest feature is pushing the infringing results)

RE: Google Suggest illegal?
By reader1 on 6/9/10, Rating: -1
RE: Google Suggest illegal?
By mcnabney on 6/9/2010 11:31:18 AM , Rating: 3
It isn't illegal, but it should be. Anyone distributing data publicly should be required by law to filter out illegal content. Today's politicians simply aren't tech-savvy enough to understand how to stop piracy and other crimes.

See that? That is a copyright infringement. I just took your creative content and copied it without your authorization and without referencing the original creator. I could paste your nonsense all over the Web and multiply my liability. Just because a creative work is offered for sale does not make it any more protected than what one braindead Bot like yourself posts on a tech board. This all leads to an assertion that copyright is like military power. You have as much of it as you can take from others.

RE: Google Suggest illegal?
By Donkeyshins on 6/10/2010 12:36:09 PM , Rating: 2
See that? That is a copyright infringement. I just took your creative content and copied it without your authorization and without referencing the original creator.

Actually, by using the quote function, you (indirectly) referenced the original creator. Also, I'm pretty sure this falls under the fair use clause.

Although I don't think much that reader1 spouts can be considered "intellectual" property.

RE: Google Suggest illegal?
By MojoMan on 6/10/2010 12:23:05 AM , Rating: 1
Lol... reader1's fascist lunacy knows no bounds... He's like... a broken record propaganda machine. Lol... Poor reader1. He's a masochist. Come... Let's all take pity on him.

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